House of Angostura, Port of Spain, Trinidad. February 7th 2016. Trinidad and Tobago’s competitor Neal Ramdhan is the new Angostura Global Cocktail Champion! Winner of the Best Rum cocktail prize, was Dino Batista of South Africa and winner of the Best Freestyle cocktail prize was Neal Ramdhan. Second place overall went to Dino Batista and coming in third, was the competitor from Canada, Johnathan Strokowski Ross. After 900 entrants from 36 countries around the world, the last 12 finalists were the cream of the crop.
Chief judge, renowned Jeff “beachbum” Berry, author or many books on vintage Tiki drinks and cuisine, said “all the bartenders were of a very high standard and it was very difficult for us to come down to the final three. We enjoyed ourselves as all the cocktails were exceptional.” After the results, the bartenders, their supporters and other guests, were treated to some local entertainment. Moko jumbies, blue devils, Shiv Shakti Indian dancers, the Malik Folk performers who also displayed limbo dancing, encouraged the guests to dance and participate in the excitement. The evening was a very memorable one with great local food and drink.
“We are very happy that the competition went well and that everyone enjoyed it so much. It is great for the bartenders from around the world to be able to come to Trinidad and see first- hand, how our quality rums and bitters are made and to take the memories back to their countries.” Says Genevieve Jodhan, executive manager international sales and marketing. The fifty-five visitors from around the world who are the guests of the House of Angostura, played J’Ouvert with Queen’s Park Cricket Club, visited down the islands and played mas with Harts on carnival Tuesday.
A contingent from the South African Embassy witnessed the event as well as the British Ambassador and some journalists brought in by the Tourism Development Company. The competition was a huge success.